Thrive as an LGBT+ executive or ally

Thrive as an LGBT+ executive or ally

16 min.
June 2019

As societies across many parts of the world are making legal and cultural progress to embrace the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans community (LGBT+ hereafter),1 many companies are still lagging behind in this process.

LGBT+ executives still find it difficult to bring their full identities to work, while their allies do not always feel empowered to help. In this article, we first describe the current situation of the LGBT+ community in the world and the difficulty of coming out and transitioning. Then, we share lessons from various guest speakers on strategies for LGBT+ individuals to thrive in the workplace and for allies and organizations to support them.

Situation of the LGBT+ community in the world

Almost 3 billion people live in countries where consensual same-sex activity is criminalized. Although significant progress has been made in the last few years, the map below shows how much still needs to be done. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), being gay is punishable in 70 UN member states by imprisonment, torture or even death and not one grants the same rights to LGBT+ people as their heterosexual counterparts.

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